OSN installs AlixPartners in-houser as legal chief after HBO defection

Middle East subscription television service Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) has appointed Helena Samaha as general counsel.

Helena Samaha
Helena Samaha

In her new role, Samaha will be responsible for all legal and regulatory affairs for the Dubai-based entertainment platform.

The news comes after OSN’s former legal head Gordon Finlayson quit in September to become HBO Central Europe’s first-ever head of legal (27 September 2011).

Samaha joins OSN, which was previously known as Showtime Arabia, from AlixPartners in Paris, where she held the role of general counsel responsible for the global business consultancy’s EMEA legal and risk management issues.

Samaha trained at Clifford Chance and qualified in 1996 before joining Virgin as group legal director in a role that saw her comprehensively overhaul the group’s in-house legal function, slashing numbers and launching its first law firm panel.

She joined DLA Piper as a partner in the firm’s technology and media practice in 2005 (23 May 2005) after a sudden exit from Virgin that left the company without a legal head.

Commenting on Samaha’s appointment OSN’s CEO David Butorac said: “Her vast wealth of knowledge, legal expertise and experience means she’s ideally placed to lead OSN on all our legal operations at this very exciting time and will be a great addition as we continue to grow our business in a rapidly changing media landscape.”